AYU (An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda)

PHARMACOGNOSTICAL RESEARCH
Year
: 2011  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 550--553

Identification of fruits of Tribulus terrestris Linn. and Pedalium murex Linn.: A pharmacognostical approach


Jignesh Kevalia1, Bhupesh Patel2,  
1 Senior Lecturer, Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
2 Assistant Professor, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Jignesh Kevalia
Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences, A. K. Jamal Building, Gurunanak Road, Jamnagar - 361008. Gujarat
India

Abstract

Gokshura is a well-known Ayurvedic drug that is used in many preparations. Botonically it is identified as Tribulus terrestris Linn., especially the roots and fruits of the plant. But instead the fruits of another plant Pedalium murex Linn. are commonly used and the drug is frequently substituted. Pharmacognostical study has been carried out to identify the distinguishing features, both morphological and microscopic, of the fruits of Tribulus terrestris Linn. and Pedalium murex Linn. This knowledge should help reduce the problem of substitution of the genuine drug.



How to cite this article:
Kevalia J, Patel B. Identification of fruits of Tribulus terrestris Linn. and Pedalium murex Linn.: A pharmacognostical approach.AYU 2011;32:550-553


How to cite this URL:
Kevalia J, Patel B. Identification of fruits of Tribulus terrestris Linn. and Pedalium murex Linn.: A pharmacognostical approach. AYU [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Nov 29 ];32:550-553
Available from: https://www.ayujournal.org/text.asp?2011/32/4/550/96132


Full Text

 Introduction



Gokshura is one of the controversial drugs in Ayurveda. [1] and is a component of Dashamoola,[2] a reputed Ayurvedic formulation used in the treatment of various diseases. Decoction of Gokshura is useful in lower back pain, sciatica, inflammation of the pelvic and sacral region, dry cough, respiratory disorders. In all cases of Vata Prakopa, it can be used as a tonic to strengthen the system. Two species of plants are found to be available in the market under the name of Gokshura. A spreading plant belonging to family Zygophyllaceae, Tribulus terrestris Linn., [3],[4],[5] which is known as Chhota Gokshura and the another erect herb belonging to family Pedaliaceae, Pedalium murex Linn., [6],[7],[8] which is known as Bada Gokshura.

Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia refers Tribulus terrestris Linn. as Gokshura and it should be used in the preparation of various formulations. Only the fruits are available in the market. None of the samples examined contain roots of the plant. Besides this, fruits of bada Gokshura (Pedalium murex Linn.) also sold under the name of Gokshura.

None of the standard textbooks describe any method to differentiate the fruits of Pedalium murex Linn. from the fruits of Tribulus terrestris Linn., especially when it is in the powder form. Considering this, it is planned to study the characteristic features of both these fruits to find out the morphological and microscopic differences.

 Materials and Methods



Fully grown, whole plants of Tribulus terrestris Linn. were collected from the campus of Gujarat Ayurved University. Authentication of the herb was done by experts at university by comparing the characteristics of the plant mentioned in botanical texts [9] and other floras. [10],[11]

The fruits were separated out from the plants, and then thoroughly washed in running water and dried, first in the shade and then in a hot-air oven at 50-60°C. After drying, 40-60# powder was prepared separately and stored in labeled bottles (40-60 #).

Dried samples of Gokshura available in the market were also collected from various regions of India, including Jamnagar (Gujarat), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Delhi, and Indore (Madhya Pradesh). The samples were identified to compose the fruits of Pedalium murex Linn. Pharmacognostical study [3],[12] of both the fruits were carried out.

Fruits of both the plants were studied morphologically, with the naked eye and also under a dissecting microscope. Fruit powders of the two plants were made and studied under a simple compound monocular microscope. Specific characteristics were noted and drawn with the help of a camara lucida in the Pharmacognosy Laboratory, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar.

Observations

The morphological characteristics of the fruit of Tribulus terrestris Linn. [Figure 1] and [Figure 2] and Pedalium murex Linn. [Figure 3] are shown in [Table 1].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Table 1}

The microscopic characteristics of the fruit of Tribulus terrestris Linn. [Figure 4] and Pedalium murex Linn. [Figure 5] are presented in [Table 2]. {Figure 4}{Figure 5}{Table 2}

 Results and Discussion



Tribulus terrestris Linn., (Zygophyllaceae), one of the classical drugs in Ayurveda, is an ingredient in many formulations. The drug is often substituted with fruits of other plants, like or Pedalium murex Linn. (Pedaliaceae).

The most diagnostic morphological characters of chhota Gokshura fruits are globose or nearly globose with five coccii, ribbed, pubescent, woody, warty consisting two spreading spines at each cocci and attached pedicel with greenish yellow color, slightly aromatic odor and slightly bitter and astringent in taste; microscopically fruits can be easily differentiated by simple, straight, unicellular with bulbous base, very few are short narrow, usually bent at the base forming U curvature and sickle shaped and some are with huge convex bulging base; starch grains in endosperm cells; stone cells in mesocarp; and cluster crystals of calcium oxalate.

While the diagnostic characters of Bada Gokshura fruits are ovoid, globular, four-ridged with four spreading spines at the base, glabrous, sometimes found to get attacked by insects leaving fibrous skeleton of the fruit behind with fibrous and hard texture having light dark brown colour, odorless and sweet mucilaginous taste and microscopically it can be differentiated by presence of glandular trichomes sometimes sessile with 4 celled head; sclereids with different thickened lumen and cells of the calyx containing coloring matter.

The distinct characteristics of the fruits of the two plants shows that they can be easily distinguished from each other.

 Conclusion



In the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia the use of the root of Tribulus terrestris Linn. is mentioned but, in practice, it is the aerial parts, especially the fruit, that is commonly used. Very often, fruits of other species (like Pedalium murex Linn.) are also incorporated in the formulation.

On the basis of the morphological and microscopic characteristics one can easily distinguish the fruits of these two plants from each other. Knowledge of these distinguishing characteristics will be useful in identifying a genuine drug.

References

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